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Track(s) taken from CDA68046

Cantabile, M36

1878; No 2 of Trois pièces pour grand orgue, M35-37; composed for the opening of the Paris Trocadéro and first performed in its Salle des Fêtes by the composer on 1 October 1878

Simon Johnson (organ)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: April 2012
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Richard Pinel
Engineered by Martin Haskell & Iestyn Rees
Release date: October 2013
Total duration: 6 minutes 12 seconds

Cover artwork: Night from the roof of One St Paul's Churchyard (2006) by Peter Spens
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'I am totally convinced throughout this splendid album by Johnson's playing, which is superbly poised and magnificently self-assured' (Gramophone)

'Transcribing Franck's D minor Symphony for organ works extremely well. Simon Johnson's performance on the instrument at St Paul's Cathedral is deftly paced, and the shorter pieces are also enjoyable' (BBC Music Magazine)» More

'This new Hyperion recording of Franck's Symphony in Simon Johnson's transcription and played by him on the great organ of St Paul's Cathedral is an impresssive and enlightening experience. Johnson clearly has the measure of the work … I was enthralled throughout. The Cantabile and the great Pièce héroïque are very finely performed … the detail in the recording is surprisingly good considering the venue, and the engineers have to be applauded for capturing this magnificent instrument in its more refined and gentle registration … Johnson's performance is beautifully paced throughout' (International Record Review)» More
Franck gave the first performance of the Trois pièces on 1 October 1878, in the Salle des Fêtes (Festival Hall) of the new Palais du Trocadéro, which had been built for the Universal Exhibition held in Paris that year. Written specifically for the occasion, which was probably the most important recital of Franck’s career, they are concert pieces with no specific religious intent. Two of Franck’s most devoted disciples couldn’t help ascribing a spiritual element to the exquisite Cantabile, however, Vincent d’Indy noting that it is ‘the typical prayer of an artist who is also a true Christian’, and the ever-devout Tournemire eulogizing: ‘The soul’s unsatisfied desire—a saint’s inner supplication—incessant pleas—faith in divine mercy.’ Whatever the context, the Cantabile was something of a hit for Franck.

from notes by Stephen Johnson © 2013

Franck créa les Trois pièces le 1er octobre 1878, en la Salle des Fêtes du nouveau Palais du Trocadéro, bâti pour l’Exposition universelle organisée à Paris cette année-là. Rédigés spécialement pour l’occasion—ce récital fut probablement le plus important de la carrière de Franck—, ces morceaux de concert n’ont aucun dessein religieux. Ce qui n’empêcha pas deux des disciples les plus dévoués de Franck de donner une dimension spirituelle à l’exquis Cantabile: Vincent d’Indy y vit «le type de la prière d’un artiste chrétien» tandis que Tournemire, éternel fervent, versa dans la louange («désir insatisfait de l’âme, supplications intérieures d’un saint, appels incessants, confiance en la miséricorde divine»). Quoi qu’il en soit, le Cantabile fut une manière de succès pour Franck.

extrait des notes rédigées par Simon Johnson © 2013
Français: Hypérion

Franck gab die erste Aufführung der Trois pièces am 1. Oktober 1878 in der Salle des Fêtes des neuen Palais du Trocadéro, das für die Weltausstellung, die in jenem Jahr in Paris stattfand, gebaut worden war. Sie entstanden ausdrücklich für diesen Anlass, der wohl das wichtigste Konzert in Francks Karriere war, und sind Konzertstücke ohne bestimmte religiöse Absichten. Zwei besonders ergebene Jünger Francks konnten allerdings nicht anders, als dem exquisiten Cantabile ein geistliches Element zuzuschreiben—Vincent d’Indy bemerkte, dass es „das typische Gebet eines Künstlers“ sei, „der auch ein wahrer Christ ist“, und der stets fromme Tournemire pries das Werk folgendermaßen: „Das unbefriedigte Verlangen der Seele—das innere Flehen eines Heiligen—unablässige Bitten—Vertrauen in die göttliche Gnade.“ Wie dem auch sei, das Cantabile war jedenfalls für Franck ein großer Erfolg.

aus dem Begleittext von Simon Johnson © 2013
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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